When the email came through about a dual-sport trip to Nevada not long after getting home from Colorado, I casually dismissed the invitation. I had heaps of work on my plate and an ongoing home renovation project – both of which were already requiring more attention than I had to give. Once things started to slow down and I had completed some of the looming projects, it didn’t take long for my relentless wanderlust to creep back in. I went back into my inbox to give the Nevada email another look. The itinerary spanned 850 miles of riding over six days with a travel day on either end.
Not all that long ago, if you wanted an off-road competition bike, you were stuck converting a motocrosser for off-road duty. More recently, if you were looking for a high-performance trail bike, you could either build out an “X” model, or start with a motocrosser and deal with the shortcomings of each where they may fall. My first real dirtbike, aside from the clapped out vintage machines my friends and I would tinker on in our youth, was a KX250F converted for trail duty. It was a great dirtbike to learn on and grow with out in the desert, but it had a fairly substantial list of modifications to get it to that point. With the Honda CRF250RX, the market for GNCC racer-types and avid trail riders alike receives a new performance-based model for 2019.
Honda revealed two electric prototypes today at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, the Benly Electric scooter and this CR Electric dirt bike. Honda provided very little detail about either prototype, leaving us to speculate from what we can see. The Benly Electric is based on a commuter scooter currently offered in other markets, so we’ll focus our attention first on the CR Electric prototype.
The first thought that went through my head when our former bro, Brent Jaswinski, was assigned to attend the Honda CRF450L launch was, “Damn, that’s going to be a fun one.” The new Honda dual-sport was a much-anticipated model with promises of real trail bike performance in a plated package. Did it live up to the hype? Well, I couldn’t wait for Brent to write his review. So, I shot him a text, “How was it?” To be honest, I’m pretty sure I texted him while he was still at the launch for the bike. I was curious, as was the rest of the world, about whether this new model would be a thrilling performance-driven machine, or yet another soft polite dual-sport with street bike mentality. I don’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure he responded with something along the lines of, “It rips!” It was at that moment I couldn’t wait to start planning a comparison of the Honda CRF450L against the time-tested king of dual-sports the KTM 500 EXC-F.